Toronto funk band Numb Tongues is back with their groovy single “Same Thing” featuring DJ M4RS. Drawing inspiration from artists and groups like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Audioslave, Cory Wong and Incubus, Numb Tongues provide hard-hitting grooves and infectious rhythm ready to get you moving. Made up of frontman/lyricist Jonah Grinberg, guitarist Tristan Lipton, drummer Corey Weinberg and more recently adding the bass stylings of Max Wilson. Back and ready for action with their single “Same Thing” the track brings incredibly up-lifting and funky melodies, all while incorporating head-bopping underlying production perfectly piecing together the puzzle that is “Same Thing”.
The track begins with the sound of white noise, and flicking between radio stations with a muffled announcers voice, creating depth and added complexities to Numb Tongues chic and psychedelic vibe. As Jonah Grinberg’s crisp and energetic vocals make an appearance overtop Tristan Lipton’s gripping melodic bass and guitar, all while driving the rhythm of the song with catchy drum patterns from Corey Weinberg. “Same Thing” provides a variety of tempos, from verse to chorus, perfectly transitioning to the next and pushing the track’s sonic boundaries. As the song progresses, the production takes center stage with effective vocal delays and bright ambient background effects tying together the tracks entirety. “Same Thing” is definitely worth a stream.
Listen to "Same Thing" here.
Hi, Numb Tongues! Welcome to BuzzMusic! We’re very excited to feature your energetic single “Same Thing”! Could you share where you found inspiration for the groovy song?
We wrote “Same Thing” at our rehearsal space in Jonah's bedroom. Tristan had recently joined the band and we were jamming trying to come up with ideas. Jonah had been fed up for a long time of all sub-par and unoriginal music he was hearing on the radio and came up with the hook “they're all listening to the same things” as a result of that. Jared, our former bassist, was still in the band at this point. The first time we jammed it, Jonah had the hook and improvised some lyrics that became part of the first verse. Corey, our drummer, had come up with the idea during that jam to give the verses a Dilla-esque drum groove, which really helped us tap into the hip hop influence of this song. Once we agreed on the chords for the chorus and verses, it pretty much fell into place from there and it gave Jonah enough room to structure the lyrics. Originally, it was just going to be about how much he hated mainstream radio. But then, he tapped into the reasons he decided to pursue music, including how the band first formed. The bridge chords were the final piece of the puzzle to prevent the song from just being the “same thing” (pun intended).
“Same Thing” offers a complex array for instrumentation and production! Could you share with us Numb Tongues’ creative process behind the track? What was the group dynamic like?
We recorded the bass and drums the same day we recorded the bedtracks for our last two singles. It took the fewest amount of takes to record the bedtracks for “Same Thing”. Tristan recorded the bass during these sessions because at the time we didn't have a bassist in our band. It was a real benefit having the three of us decide to record regardless, because it allowed us to hone in on our sound at that point, without interference. It helped us develop the mentality of “why not” for recording because we had already lost a bassist and Tristan had decided to play bass, so we had nothing else left to lose. The day after Jared left the band, Jonah decided to pursue his dream of having a DJ play with Numb Tongues. He's a huge fan of Incubus and they have always stood out to him as a band that incorporated a DJ into alternative band music better than anyone else. We met DJ M4RS through some of Jonah's mutual friends at the Harris Institute (the college he graduated from). We sent him the song and he sent back a track of him scratching a sample of a song by The Meters. The problem with that is that we needed clearance, so, we instead sent him Jonah's isolated lead vocal track so he could sample that instead. Around this same time too, Jonah had bought a vocal pedal, that he now uses for our live shows. It's got some sweet effects on it but Jonah mainly uses it now for flanger, chorus and strobe. Until he recorded his vocals, we were just playing the song without any effects. When he recorded his vocals, he added one track of strobe and one track of flanger to build momentum in the song (which he now does live also). He also did the brief introduction at the very beginning where he sounds like a radio host. When we decided to remix and master the song, our producer Thomas added some audio of him getting in his car and turning on the radio and pitched the radio intro vocals down. It ended up working out perfectly.
The artwork for your single “Same Thing” is another intriguing factor! We have to know, what’s the significance behind the smiling lizard in front of the sun and moon?
Corey actually came up with the idea for the artwork. We decided to keep the same chameleon theme going throughout these singles as we had with our previous EP. He's kind of a mascot for us at this point and really represents us as a band, constantly changing colours and adapting to our surroundings. When we decided to use our friend Alex Leon for the artwork again, Jonah came up with three concepts, each involving a chameleon, one for each single we were recording at the time. Two of those concepts were used for the last two singles we released. Corey had seen one of Alex's paintings that was split in two with a character in the middle being the divider. So he suggested the idea of a painting where the chameleon has an antenna on top of his head (as if it were a radio) and splits the page between night and day because no matter what time of day, we always have a need to listen to music.
Numb Tongues is said to be an eclectic mix of funk and punk. Are there any other genres that your band might want to experiment with further down the line?
We're influenced by genres like jazz, hip hop, R&B, reggae, art rock, drum and bass, post-hardcore and dance music. We always try to do whatever's best for the song. However, that also usually ends up meaning that we channel our influences through funk music because naturally we're all influenced by intricate grooves rhythms and rhythmic dance beats. Punk music is also a natural influence because our sound derives mainly from one guitar, bass and drums. To us, punk represents that we all have the need to get things out of our system and be able to speak our truth. And funk allows us to be our most authentic selves.
What can we expect to see from you throughout 2020?
Hopefully, once all the panic from the coronavirus calms down, we'll be able to get things back on track. The pandemic has forced all the venues in the city to close and it's prevented us and all our other fellow artists from playing live shows in Toronto and booking them out of town. Aside from this unfortunate circumstance, we're still in the studio working on our follow-up singles and writing the next album after that with our new bassist Max Wilson. When all is said and done, we want to continue playing shows and getting fans to sing along and dance and mosh to our songs. There's nothing like playing live in front of a crowd that loves you and your music. And we just want to continue improving our live act and continue writing new songs. Quite frankly, you can never have too many songs, and often it never feels like you have enough.